The Scríobh Leabhar Project aims to awaken childrens’ interest in Irish books, by encouraging them to design and write their own books as Gaeilge. The Project is organised by Foras na Gaeilge, in co-operation with several Education Centres and organisations on the island of Ireland. The Project is run through Irish. In Kilkenny Education Centre, the Project runs as follows:
1. We invite schools to participate in the scheme, by expressing interest in September/October and follow up with a letter in December. A timeline for the Project is set out.
2. The teachers work with the children in the schools to develop their writing. The children design, write and bind their books. The books can be handwritten and illustrated or be produced using ICT. The pupils can write individual books, or work in groups, or produce whole class books. The schools then send a Registration Form to the Education Centre listing the number of teachers and classes taking part, and the number of books they will write. This is important information so that the swapping can be organised, and so that the certificates can be ordered.
3. Towards the end of the Project the schools swap books. The Centre will write to the ‘co-ordinating teacher’ in each school with information regarding the day/date for swapping, and information on how to present the books (copy of the list to be filled in etc). The co-ordinating teacher is responsible for disseminating this information to the other participating classes and teachers in the school.
4. The swapping happens as follows: Teachers from each school bring the books to the Centre on an assigned day and time. The Project Administrator, Monica Skehan, matches classes, in order to ensure, as far as possible, that children read books written by students at the same class level. The classes and teachers read the books. The teacher selects books for ‘Gradam’ awards, from each class. The books are returned to the Education Centre on an agreed date, the ‘Gradam’ books are kept aside.
5. About a month is allowed for the ‘swap’ to take place, to allow teachers adequate time to read the books and select award winners (sometimes days off/holidays can mean that a calendar month is only a few weeks of school etc).
6. All the award winning books are collected at the Centre. The covers are scanned in to make a presentation for the celebration day. A list of all the students and books is prepared. Invitations are sent out to the schools, inviting award winners to a celebration day. All participating teachers and the children’s parents are also invited.
7. Every child who takes part in Scríobh Leabhar receives a Certificate in recognition of their efforts. Each school can also organise their own individual special event or ceremony to celebrate the achievements of the budding young authors.